U.S. Defense Department to Aim for Intercollaborability

December 9, 2014
By Robert K. Ackerman
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The goal is to expand options, not merely divide up what exists.

A new term for interoperability may have emerged from the office of the U.S. Defense Department’s chief information officer (CIO). Intercollaborability was described to the Tuesday luncheon audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held December 9-11 in Honolulu, by Terry Halvorsen, Defense Department acting CIO.

Halvorsen explained that cooperation happens when people want to protect their piece of the pie, while collaboration occurs when people think there is more of the pie. Intercollaborability describes the combination of collaboration and interoperability.

This approach could the guiding element for many information technology activities that will change the way the department networks and communicates. For example, Halvorsen said that mobile connectivity must be pushed to the tactical edge, and that will require changes such as adoption of commercial capabilities and bring your own device (BYOD). “For mobility, we have to start thinking intercollaborability,” he stated.

But for true intercollaborability, the department would need to include the full spectrum of capabilities such as video and satellite relays to the desktop. “The technology is doable,” he said. “Can we get there culturally and financially? I think we can do it,” he concluded.

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